NEW YORK — Lady Gaga and Missy Elliott were in tears Friday as they discussed the struggles they faced in their careers at an event honoring women in the music industry.

Gaga was named Billboard’s woman of the year, while Elliott – who has largely stayed out of the spotlight in recent years, but returned last month with a new single – was dubbed innovator of the year.

Loretta Lynn, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, Lana Del Rey, girl group Fifth Harmony, pop singer Tori Kelly and country singer Kelsea Ballerini were also honored, along with 50 female music executives.

The Billboard Women in Music event, which included guests like Alicia Keys, Paul Rudd, Martina McBride and Jussie Smollett from “Empire,” will air Dec. 18 on Lifetime.

Gaga – who earned a Grammy nomination Monday and a Golden Globe nod on Thursday – grew emotional when she spoke about her struggles to find her voice in the industry.

“It’s really hard sometimes for women in music. It’s like a (expletive) boys club we can’t get into. Sorry grandma,” she said. “I’ve tried for so long. I just wanted to be taken seriously as a musician.”

Gaga ended her speech with strong words for those who doubted her in the past: “But I can write songs and I can sing.”